Frank Black, Iggy Pop Celebrate Mose Allison with “Numbers on Paper”

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Today, on Mose Allison’s birthday, Fat Possum Records releases two newly-recorded Allison tracks from IF YOU’RE GOING TO  THE CITY:  A Tribute To Mose Allison, out November 29. 

Pixies vocalist Frank Black has recorded “Numbers on Paper,” while punk icon Iggy Pop puts his spin on the title track. IF YOU’RE GOING TO THE CITY also benefits Sweet Relief, which assists musicians in need. 


The collection features Taj Mahal, Robbie Fulks, Jackson Browne, The Tippo Allstars feat. Fiona Apple, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Peter Case, Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin, Anything Mose!, Frank Black, and Amy Allison with Elvis Costello. The CD and LP packaging will include a DVD copy of Paul Bernay’s 2005 documentary on Mose Allison titled ‘Ever Since I Stole The Blues.’ It was originally produced for the BBC. 

Frank Black says, “I’m so pleased Amy (Allison) has asked me to participate in this project of her father’s music. What can I say? Both musically and lyrically Mose is more grounded than most, and, at the same time, existentially beyond everything else out there. “Numbers On Paper” is a relevant song to humanity at whatever point in the time space continuum, or “spime” as Mose says, that you want to place that song. It’s classic Mose, funny and heavy.” 

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Grant recipients include recording artists, club and session musicians, and composers and songwriters from every musical genre. Since its inception, Sweet Relief has helped musicians with medical and living expenses, including insurance premiums, prescriptions, medical treatment and procedures, housing and food costs, utilities, and other basic necessities. 

Born in 1927 in the Mississippi Delta, Mose John Allison grew up listening to jazz and blues greats such as Louis Armstrong, Memphis Minnie, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan and the Nat Cole Trio.  He learned to play piano and trumpet as a boy. After a stint in the army and then several years playing in clubs around the South, he moved to New York City to make his career as a pianist, songwriter, and performer fronting his own trio. Allison performed with jazz greats such as Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, and Gerry Mulligan, and developed a distinctive style of playing that fused blues and jazz with succinct and timeless lyrics.

Mose Allison became a favorite among his peers and his songs have been covered by other great artists such as  Van Morrison, The Who, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, The Clash and many others. Allison passed away in 2016 at the age of 89.

 If You’re Going to The City Tracklist: 

1.     Taj Mahal   –   Your Mind Is On Vacation

 2.     Robbie Fulks   –   My Brain 

3.     Jackson Browne   –   If You Live  

 4.     The Tippo Allstars featuring Fiona Apple –   Your Molecular Structure 

5.     Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite   –   Nightclub 

6.     Chrissie Hynde   –   Stop This World 

7.     Iggy Pop   –   If You’re Going to the City 

8.     Bonnie Raitt   –   Everybody’s Crying Mercy 

9.     Loudon Wainwright III   –   Ever Since the World Ended 

10.   Richard Thompson   –   Parchman Farm 

11.   Peter Case   –   I Don’t Worry About A Thing 

12.   Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin   –   Wild Man On the Loose 

13.   Anything Mose!   –   The Way of the World 

14.   Frank Black   –   Numbers On Paper 

15.   Amy Allison with Elvis Costello   –    Monsters of the Id

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